The 1950’s in a few sentences:
In the image above of my sketch book. I started jotting down a few words/ideas that I have of the 1950’s. Some of those words include; Conformity, conservative, hosuewife, name brands, home appliances, textiles, dresses, talk shows, suburbia, war, nuclear bombs, bomb shelters, television, cocktail parties, cocktail dresses, working husband, household perfection, cigarettes.
Through these images above, we look at the inside of a home in the 1950’s. A family gathered around the TV having ‘quality’ family time. Living life of the highest quality. The mother is smoking next to her children and unaware of the dangers of second hand smoke. Musicians like elvis on television changing the way we listen to music. Some of the images on this page are illustrations i found on the internet from the 1950s.
Here we see a domestic housewife, taking the roast out of the oven and admiring her amazing fridge. Well it sure is swell to have all these home appliances! Golly does this give my life meaning!
Cars, cocktails parties, advertisements, whiskey, script
The Heineken Beer ad is a postcard that I bought at the heineken brewery in amsterdam. I found it in my cupboard and when I looked on the back it dates from 1956. Here we have some illustrations that featured in advertisement and children’s books
A few sketches and idea for the final image. I looked a jackson Pollock and how his art was controversial in the 50s. It defined modern expressionist in the 1950s and as important as he may be I didn’t find any inspiration from his work for this assignment. I attempted a few splattery watercolour marks in my sketchbook. I think its best that I focus on objects and way of life in the 50s.
My first attempt with collage
Here I added some details and figures into the collage. I like this approach to my final but first I wanted some feedback. Here I attached my feedback from my colleague at work. She is the visual arts teacher and thought she might have some good ideas. Her response after looking through my sketchbook was that she felt very inspired by the textiles. We are doing some print making in our classes so she suggested I give them a try using the popular textiles from the 50s. This is how we came up with the idea that I would continue with the collage style, but create more depth and nostalgia using the textile prints on the collage paper.
Looking at the collage artist Richard Hamilton. His collage art started in the 50s and continued into the 90’s before he died. I wrote some notes in my log about him.
I also looked at a modern artist who uses print making in her illustrations. I found her on the website suggested by my tutor, Illustrationfriday.com. Dinara Mirtalipora is from eastern europe but lives in Oregon in the US. Her illustrations are playful and fun. I like her use of print techniques in her illustrations. I wrote a few notes about her work in my sketchbook.
I was ready to begin testing out my textiles on scratch foam board for printing.
Here are my collections and attempts of textiles form the 1950’s. I think they look very retro 50s and I felt ready to scratch them into foam board.
Here are my studies of my prints. With the research of the two artist I felt ready to begin cutting and pasting them together to create my collage. I had a lot of fun playing with the materials. I used coloured paper, black printing ink, scratch foam board and a pic pen to draw in my designs.
My Final Image.
I think its really successful, the colours and details of the cut collage pieces with the negative space give this a modern look. I made the human figures in the composition blacked out because I think they would have been lost if I used the textiles on them. I also chose to make them blacked out, for the mother at least, because she could have lost her individuality and identity in the 50’s. The textile patterns are from the 1950s so the textile, the objects and the shape of the woman in the center show how this represents the 1950s. I think a viewer should be able to immediately tell what the era is. And if it is a teenager and they are not aware of how it was back then, I think this image gives them a good sense. I think I could have improved by cutting out the space between the woman’s arm and body.
Some of the items I have in the composition are; Television, recordplayer, toy car, pillow, couch, rug, lamp, glass of whiskey, table, fridge, vacuum, oven, and telephone. The woman is smoking while sitting, watching her children and admiring her perfect home. The children are unaware of all the work their mother has done and they are watching tv. Really really close to the television!